In the last few years, the entire planet has come to realize the significance of immune health. This has been accompanied by a number of quick-fix “solutions,” like calls to “boost” our way to immune wellness.
But while immunity conversations are front and center at the dinner table, on the news, and across social media channels, they tend to ignore the fact that immunity is a complex and changing state that’s as unique as a fingerprint. Read on to find out how and why this matters.
Your immunity is as unique as you are
When two people watch the same movie, read the same book, or eat the same meal, their experiences can be wildly different. That’s because each of us is unique.
Simply put, even small differences in our bodies and our brains change the way we interact with and feel about the world. Now consider that we have literally billions of immune cells that live everywhere in the body, including the brain. These cells change how we feel and act every moment of the day.
We each have an Immuno-Identity
If you were to have your immune system profiled with complex blood tests and compare this with the results of other people, you’d quickly start to see differences. You might have higher levels of an immune cell called a macrophage, or relatively lower levels of a certain type of immune cell called a T cell. What’s more, you could have nearly the same number and types of immune cells as someone else, but still have a completely different response to the same microbe.
We also know that our immune uniqueness extends far beyond our immune cells. In fact, our bodies are filled with immune signaling molecules that enable conversations between cells and tissues in the body, including with our resident microbes. The numbers and types of these immune signals comprise another part of our immune uniqueness.
We can change our Immuno-Identity for better or worse
Even though the immune system is distributed throughout the body, it’s especially concentrated in the gut. That’s because the immune system needs to deal with and learn from all the information that comes in through our GI tract.
The food we eat and all the microbes in our gut microbiome send a variety of data to our immune cells. In response, the gut immune system undergoes a number of changes that subsequently influence health across the body.
It’s also notable that we can influence our immune function by modulating our levels of chronic stress, how much sleep we get, or even our exposure to nature. This means that our Immuno-Identity is always being modified — for the better or the worse.
What to do next
At Big Bold Health, we’ve created a short quiz that will enable you to get a sense of your Immuno-Identity. It’s free and easy. Then, we invite you to explore our library of educational content on our webpage.
If you’re looking for a more comprehensive scientific overview of topics like this one, you might enjoy our practitioner-focused resources at pro.bigboldhealth.com.